When the lights went out at Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp on October 4th, 2021, half of my Twitter feed seemed to be taking the piss out of the fact that Mark Zuckerberg’s employees weren’t able to even access their buildings, while the other half was showing some degree of concern for the hundreds of millions of livelihoods harmed by the incident.
Two days ago, I finally started messaging my extended family members and closest friends about my resolve to delete my WhatsApp account. I was not expecting to receive the reactions I got. Within minutes, family members and friends had replied positively, saying the move to Signal sounded good to them. Many immediately installed the app and messaged me there. I was blown away by how easy and positive the experience had been. All my fears and concerns were pretty much unfounded and exaggerated.
Two days in, I have re-built in Signal all the messaging groups I use most frequently. The transition has been seamless.
I’m feeling like Toto. The experience has been so easy, and positive, that I’d thought I’d write about this, in case you too are tempted to quit WhatsApp or any other app owned by Facebook.The Realists, Quitting Whatsapp & Pulling Back the Curtain on Facebook’s Grand Illusion
I’ve never used WhatsApp myself, and while some people give me the looks when I say they need to use Signal, or Telegram, or plain old SMS to contact me, recently an increasing number of my friends has switched to using Signal – totally on their own, not because I asked them.
The argument that you’ll lose all your contacts and conversations if you quit WhatsApp really doesn’t hold up. You don’t have to delete WhatsApp today in order to start announcing to your network that you’re using Signal (or Threema or whatever else) as your primary messaging app.
Let it be a process and be the change you want to see in the world. 🙂